About Fit Testing
***NOTICE: Effective June 1, 2020, N95 fit testing frequency has returned to the annual requirement. All staff with employees who were fit tested more than 12 months ago and who continue to have a need to wear an N95 must schedule a fit test no later than 8/31/2020.***
Respirators are pieces of personal protective equipment that provide respiratory protection against airborne contaminants. Respirators will either filter the ambient air (for example, N-95, PAPR, or half-mask air purifying respirators) or they will provide clean breathing air for the employee (for example, SCBA and air-line respirators).
Every person's face is different, and respirators are NOT one size fits all. A respirator that does not fit provides no protection and can actually be more dangerous than not wearing a respirator. To make sure your respirator fits correctly to provide you with adequate protection, all employees wearing a respirator must be fit tested on an annual basis. Fit testing is a service provided by the Occupational Safety Program.
Because a respirator is being placed on a person's face and can make breathing more difficult, UTMB must make sure that employees are healthy enough to wear a respirator. Medical conditions such as severe asthma, COPD, and emphysema can make the wearing of a respirator unsafe for an employee. Before any employee can be fit tested and wear a respirator, they must first be medically evaluated by a licensed healthcare professional. Respirator medical evaluations of UTMB employees is a service provided by the Employee Health Clinic.